President Joe Biden lashed out Thursday at a reporter when asked about an FBI informant who allegedly told the bureau of a bribery scheme involving the Biden family.
"Why did you ask such a dumb question?" Biden shot back at the reporter, who asked the president about reports that he is referred to as "the big guy" in an FBI document that alleges he took foreign bribes as vice president.
The source told the FBI in June 2020 that Burisma executive Mykola Zlochevsky paid $10 million in bribes to Joe and Hunter Biden for help with legal problems he faced in Europe. At the time, Hunter Biden was on the board of directors of Burisma, a Ukrainian natural gas producer. Joe Biden was then the Obama administration’s chief liaison to Ukraine and in charge of helping Ukrainian leaders fight corruption.
According to an FBI document that details the FBI informant’s claims, Zlochevsky claimed to have 17 audio recordings of conversations with the Bidens that would confirm the scheme. The FBI source, who claims to have been a consultant to Zlochevsky, also alleged that the Burisma owner referred to Joe Biden as "the big guy." That allegation is significant because "the big guy" is the same honorific that other Hunter Biden associates used to refer to the elder Biden. In a May 2017 email, one of Hunter Biden’s associates referred to a 10 percent investment stake for "the big guy." Other Hunter associates have said that was a reference to Joe Biden.
Biden’s outburst on Thursday was his first public response to the FBI informant’s allegations, which remain unverified. Republicans have acknowledged that the allegations have not been proven but have questioned whether the FBI fully investigated the claims.